Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Taking STEAM Programs On The Road

Early this year, I learned that my library was one of the lucky recipients of an ALSC & Dollar General Literacy Foundation “Strengthening Communities Through Libraries” grant. We used the funds to create STEAM programming kits to be used alone or in different combinations for outreach programs. Our vision was to take these kits into after-school care sites serving disadvantaged populations and deliver the same type of STEAM programs we would at the library. We put out feelers to multiple sites, asking if we could come once per month to deliver a program. We thought that we would be lucky to get our foot in the door at a couple of places. In reality, we got ten enthusiastic “yes, please come” replies within days. And that’s how we ended up doing fifty extra STEAM programs that reached hundreds of kids in just five months. Every month, we developed a basic…

Blogger Alexa Newman

Teaching Gardens and Junior Master Gardeners

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need” ~ Cicero. Well, I’ve got everything I need and more!  Besides being a Youth Services Librarian, I am a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener. (That means I’ve had training, continuing education, and lots of volunteer hours). In fact, I’m so lucky I have established and manage a Teaching Garden here at the Algonquin Area Public Library. As an EMG, I teach many classes and present programs at libraries, conferences, and for civic groups At my library, our Teaching Garden is celebrating its second birthday. The garden consists of raised beds with a variety of different gardens. Last year we had a square foot garden, a cutting garden, a kids garden, and a sensory garden. The first year was a learning experience for me and we learned that weeds are our biggest  bugaboo, especially since our next door…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Community Building with Technology

While the use of modern technology can still be contentious in libraries, by now many of us feel comfortable with or at least accept the existence of modern technology in libraries. One fear many of us still have is the problem of youngsters becoming isolated  users of devices. We encourage parent interaction, but we certainly can’t force it. We can, however, provide contexts that encourage not only parent interaction, but co-play among the children. On the floor play: Children’s librarians have long been champions of play and its merits. Most of us probably have some sort of play on the public floor of our children’s spaces, and we often see this resulting in unexpected play partners and friendships. We might hesitate to put screen or other technology in public places, for fear it will encourage solo play or detract from imaginative play. If you’re using screen technology, limit the apps…

ALSC Online Courses

Register for Spring 2017 ALSC Online Courses

Register for Spring 2017 ALSC Online Courses

ALSC encourages participants to sign up for Spring 2017 ALSC online courses. Registration is open for all courses. Classes begin Monday, April 3, 2017. Two of the courses being offered this semester are eligible for continuing education units (CEUs). The American Library Association (ALA) has been certified to provide CEUs by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET). ALSC online courses are designed to fit the needs of working professionals. Courses are taught by experienced librarians and academics. As participants frequently noted in post-course surveys, ALSC stresses quality and caring in its online education options. Learn more about online courses at the ALSC Online Education site. Demonstrating ALSC Competencies 6 weeks, April 3 – May 12, 2017 Instructor: Rachel Reinwald, Youth Services Librarian/School Liaison, Lake Villa District Library Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Programs Made Easy 4 weeks, April 3 – 28, 2017, 1.2 CEUs Instructor: Angela Young,…

Blogger Meg Smith

Library Learning Leads to School Success

What youth services ideas do you hope to turn into reality this year? At our Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center, we have seen a need to increase the resources and support students receive so they may excel academically. Our School Success initiative developed into a formal project after assessment with our local public and charter schools, a staff-led focus group, and research to determine the needs of our student populations. We’ve applied for a grant to add technology and educational kits to our services and plan to add some new programming to encourage family engagement. Here are some highlights from our proposal: Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center will address the need for elementary and secondary student support through the development of our School Success initiative. This initiative features a 100 Days of School Celebration and the implementation of Learning Lab programming featuring laptops to provide homework…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Summer Reading 2017: On Beyond Lego!

Let’s get ready to build stuff! The 2017 Summer Reading theme is “Build a Better World” and I wanted to touch on two key options: Building sets Recycle, reuse and re-purpose Building Sets: looking beyond the ordinary Giant Crystal Connectors by Constructa Retro! 4″ interlocking discs with eight slots Translucent, and brightly-colored   Cardboard construction tools – Makedo!       playful cardboard construction 30 reusable parts build creations from junk! You supply the stuff – cardboard, foam, whatever – and Makedo makes it possible to construct anything you can dream up.  Re-usable and SAFE! From the trenches: Denver Public Library loads up their programming room with recyclables for attendees to build stuff.  Imagine combining that with Makedo kits! SmartMax by SmartMax Explore magnetism! Strong, large pieces Safe for kids as young as one High-quality, sonically-welded bars Learn about magnetic attraction and repulsion while constructing towers, bridges and other creations. The magnets are…

Blogger Alexa Newman

Not Just Tinkering Around

Tinker  verb | tin*ker   : to work in the manner of a tinker; especially :  to repair, adjust, or work with something in an unskilled or experimental manner I had the opportunity to sit down last week with Alison Tseng, the Youth Services Technology Librarian at the Algonquin Area Public Library District to talk about Tinker. (Full disclosure:   Alison is my coworker and sits at the desk right across from me, so it was an easy-peasy trip.)